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Ivey proposes increased state budgets, but financial leaders warn legislators of cliff

Ivey is proposing a 6.5 percent increase in the Education Trust Fund budget and an 8.4 percent increase in the General Fund.

Bill Poole speaks at the Business Council of Alabama.

Gov. Kay Ivey is requesting an $8.79 billion budget in the Education Trust Fund, a 6.5 percent increase over last year’s record-setting budget.

But Alabama Finance Director Bill Poole and Fiscal Officer Kirk Fulford said legislators should proceed with caution as trends show the surge in tax revenues will soon be coming to an end.

“This is an astronomically different time that we’re dealing with right now in our economy in Alabama and also nationwide,” Fulford said. “And understand, it’s something that can’t continue at the rate that it’s been going.”

Ivey’s priorities, outlined in greater detail in her State of the State address Tuesday night, include $1 billion in tax rebates, expanding the state pre-K program into high-need areas, raising teacher pay by 2 percent, retiring debts and capital projects for schools.

Ivey is requesting $2.97 billion for the General Fund in the upcoming fiscal year, an 8.4 percent increase.

Priorities there include the rising costs of Medicaid and prisons.

The Alabama Department of Corrections is facing increased costs to bring in correctional officers and to provide health care for incarcerated individuals.

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Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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